Sustainability Group Update
Progress so far
Did you know that the allotment site and the area including the Peabody Woods has the biggest number of hedgehogs in London and as a result we were recently added by Lambeth Council to a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation?
After the 2023 AGM, a working group has been set up to encourage the use of practices that benefit the ecology and biodiversity of the allotment environment.
We all wish to support the wonderful wildlife we have on our collective piece of land and our individual plots but the working group feels more could be done.
The group is meeting regularly over the next year to explore how this can be done and to explore old and new ways of supporting how we steward the land for ourselves and for future generations of plot holders.
Our first meeting discussed, among other things, a plastic pot amnesty. The polytunnel always needs smaller sized pots to pot on the veg that is grown so brilliantly for sale in the shop. If you have any old but usable pots you don’t want please drop them off at the compound.
We also discussed creating some homes for Hairy-legged flower bees after Andy found some had taken up home in his old pizza oven! A bigger project potentially needing external funding was to do a biodiversity audit of the site. June has taken the lead on this and will report back in due course her findings.
It was suggested we could set up a No Dig group for those who practice No Dig or those interested but don’t know where to start. In the last few years I have started to grow with No Dig principles having been bought up a digger by my Dad. So far so good.
Ram raised the issue of the possibility of Aminopyralids and Clopyralids that can be found in external manure brought onto the site. These have a devastating effect on crops. Curled leaves and non-viable plants being two tell-tale signs.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 20th June at 6.30pm in the community building. Please come along if you are interested in finding out more or have ideas about taking care of our plots in a nature enhancing way.
Tessa Plot 470
Companion planting can help create a rich, diverse polyculture to encourage a healthy ecosystem in balance with nature. Companion plants can attract pollinators and provide forage for insects as well as helping with pest control by distracting them with scent or colourful petals.
Borage refills its nectar every few minutes and is a haven for bees, whilst alliums (onions, leeks) planted with carrots can discourage carrot fly. Nasturtiums act as a decoy plant, drawing black fly and cabbage whites away from other brassicas, as well as being a stunning edible addition to salads.
Other classic companion planting combinations are interplanting tomatoes with basil to increase flavour and French marigolds (not edible) to deter white fly and aphids with their strong scent. Tagetes minuta on the other hand is said to help outcompete weeds such as ground elder.
Tomatoes planted near asparagus can also help deter asparagus beetle.
(Info care of Vital Seeds)
Let’s Work Together
If you want to know more contact info@Tessa.Parikian.com